A $11.4 million upgrade of Adelaide’s sewer network has unearthed a number of historic artefacts dating back to the mid-1800s.
The upgrade supports expected local growth in urban development and residential population by increasing the capacity of the sewer network in the area.
SA Water’s Senior Manager of Community Engagement Matthew Bonnett said as part of the project, work is simultaneously happening at six sites around Adelaide.
“A new 2.5 kilometre pipeline will run from West Terrace, through the Adelaide Park Lands, and connect into an existing sewer main at the North Adelaide Golf Course on War Memorial Drive,” Matthew said.
“To begin this process, crews have been excavating up to ten metres below West Terrace for the past few months.
“During recent excavation at another project worksite, near Bonython Park, we found several European artefacts, such as an ink well and ginger beer bottle, which will be handed to the Adelaide City Council.
“To protect any historic objects that may further be uncovered during our works, we have strict procedures in place to ensure excavation doesn’t cause damage to them.
“This includes the use of ground-penetrating radar before excavation began, to detect buried structures, such as the remains of foundations from heritage buildings.”
The work on West Terrace also involves using large inflatable stoppers to help isolate the section of existing network where new pipework will be connected, while large pumps and pipes divert the flow of sewage around the worksite.
“One of these pipes is a unique original oval-shaped sewer main from the 1860s, which remains in good condition and will continue to play an important part of the network,” Matthew said.
“The new infrastructure will transport the expected increased flows and help reduce the potential for operational or odour issues that could occur if the existing infrastructure couldn’t meet demand.
“Around 75 per cent of sewage from the Adelaide CBD and the city’s south-eastern suburbs flows through this part of the network.
“It’s therefore imperative we maintain a reliable and resilient network, particularly in an area that is becoming a development hub of Adelaide.”
The route of the new pipeline has been designed to avoid significant trees in the Park Lands and SA Water has also worked closely with the Adelaide City Council and Adelaide Park Lands Authority to ensure impacts to the environment and Park Land users are minimal.
SA Water has managed the upgrade so there is no disruption to sewerage services during the works, and necessary roadworks are predominantly scheduled overnight to reduce impacts to commuters.
The project began late last year and is expected to be completed by August 2017.